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The Annunciation embroidery design

The Annunciation

these early times. We are fortunately not
entirely dependent on documentary records.

It was customary from very early times to
bury kings in their robes, and ecclesiastics in
their vestments, and at the translation of
the remains of a saint or especially revered
personage, the body was often wrapped in
later vestments before re-burial. It thus
happens that a few fragments of great
archaeological interest have been preserved
to the present day.

There are in the library of Durham
Cathedral some striking examples of Anglo-
Saxon needlework, having inscriptions which
definitely settle their origin.

They are a stole and a maniple, embroidered
in coloured silks red, green, blue, and purple
(now much discoloured) and gold thread on
a linen ground, and lined with silk (Plate i).
These precious relics were found in the cathe-
dral in the tomb of St. Cuthbert in 1826-7.
The stole is now in five pieces. In the centre
was represented the Holy Lamb (AGNV DI)*
with probably six prophets on either side.

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Sacra Famiglia embroidery design

Tradition assigns an earlier origin to another
pair, presented, together with other works of
art associated with the Denny family, by Sir
Edward Denny, Bart., to the Victoria and
Albert Museum in 1882. They are of leather,
with white satin gauntlets elaborately em-
broidered and enriched with numerous seed-
pearls. It is believed that they are the gloves
recorded to have been given by Henry VIII.
to Sir Anthony Denny, who was successively
Groom of the Stole, a Privy Councillor, and
an Executor of the King, and afterwards
one of the guardians of the young king
Edward VI. The design, however, seems to
point to a later origin, and it is perhaps more
likely that they are the pair given by James I.
to Sir Edward Denny (afterwards Earl of
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received the king during his journey from
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Al Pacino embroidery design

HE Reformation practically put
an end to ecclesiastical em-
broidery in England, and the
needlewomen thus lost their best
patron. Not only so, but the
skilful works of former times were, many of
them, alienated or destroyed. A large number
were taken abroad, and many were left behind
only to be burnt for the sake of the precious
metals used in the embroidery, or mutilated
to serve other purposes. The lists of Church
goods sold at the Reformation, include many
vestments which passed in this way into
private hands. " Many private men's par-
lours/' we are told, "were hung with altar-
cloths, their tables and beds covered with
copes, instead of carpets and coverlids."*
Embroideries thus transformed may still be
seen at Hardwick Hall, and in other English
mansions.

Repentance of St. Peter embroidery design

It represents, in a long series of scenes, the
history of the Norman conquest of England,
explanatory inscriptions in Latin being added
to the subjects throughout.

The scenes may be thus briefly described,
following the guidance of the Latin inscrip-
tions explaining each subject: (i)* King
Edward the Confessor seated on a throne,
addresses two persons, one of whom is
Harold ; (2) Harold rides to Bosham, and
(3) enters the church there ; (4) he sets sail,
and (5 and 6) lands in Ponthieu, (7) where he
is apprehended by Count Guy, (8) conducted
to Beaurain, and (9) imprisoned there ;
(10) Harold and Guy parley; (n) Duke
William's messengers come to Guy; (12)
William's messengers ; (13) a messenger
comes to Duke William, and (14 and 15)
Guy conducts Harold to the Duke, (16 and
17) and they both come to William's palace